Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

ISRO Tech to Shield Islands From Rising Temperatures: Dr Jitendra Singh

Under Infrastructure for Resilient Island States, the government to support 58 Small Island Developing States, says Union S&T Minister
December 9, 2021
Rising Temperatures

Union Minister of State, Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has the requisite technologies to help protect small island states from inundation due to rising temperatures. Under Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS), the government will extend its support to 58 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) across geographic regions, he added.

The Union Minister said that ISRO has the requisite technologies and expertise to provide information on advance warning of cyclones, monitoring of coastlines and coral reefs using space-based inputs to support small island states to help them protect from inundation due to rising temperatures.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, the minister said, ISRO is gearing up to provide such information to some of the SIDS in the Indian Ocean Region. India, UK, Australia, Fiji, Jamaica and Mauritius jointly launched IRIS, an initiative to provide technical support on disaster resilience of infrastructure systems to SIDS, during the 26th Conference of Parties held in Glasgow, the UK by United Nations. He added that IRIS will also support SIDS by facilitating access to existing financial mechanisms for resilient infrastructure development. It will extend its support on-demand basis to SIDS across geographic regions.

ISRO carries out prediction of track, intensity, landfall time and location of all cyclones originating in Indian Oceans using space-based inputs. While India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the mandated agency to provide the cyclone forecast advisories, ISRO supports IMD in improving the prediction methodologies and publishing the R&D outputs for the help of all.

ISRO has carried out a vulnerability assessment of the selected states along the Indian coastal region and has identified coastal stretches that are susceptible due to sea-level rise. ISRO provides near real-time prediction of storm surge and surge-induced inundation for the Indian coast during cyclones using satellite observations and numerical models. Maps of coral reefs of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden have been published and are updated regularly.  A region-specific Coral Bleaching Monitoring System based on sea surface temperature data is hosted on ISRO’s VEDAS geoportal.